Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Best of: 2005 and 2006

2005: Truth be told, 2003 and 2004 were not, I felt, the most inspiring of years for music. But things changed in ’05 thanks to a little band from England called Art Brut. I hadn’t heard a record as funny, as dead-on, as Bang Bang Rock & Roll in a long while. Maybe I overdid it when I listened to it three times a day for a little while, but I couldn’t get enough of Eddie Argos’ delivery and his bandmates’ enthused garage bashing.

2006: I have a check-in-and-out relationship with Sonic Youth. I’ll positively love an album, and then somehow neglect to buy their next few. I don’t exactly remember why I decided to check in with Rather Ripped, but it was a wise decision. RR may be one of their most structured, song-oriented albums, but they make a glorious racket all the same, showing just what an amazing job they can do with parameters. The whole thing moves with an urban electricity that’s matured but enthralling all the same.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Concert review here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Wanna shut a crowd up incredibly fast? An impromptu performance by Portishead seems to work.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Best of: 2004

Then: I was swayed by the goofy charms of Brian Wilson’s long-awaited Smile (Nonesuch). I still enjoy this album – down to every last slurred vocal and trombone slide – but I have to be in the mood.

Now: In what is something of a recurrent theme, I’ve moved by then-number-two, The DelgadosUniversal Audio (Chemikal Underground) to the top spot. In many ways, I consider this album of a piece with Summerteeth and The Execution of All Things in terms of sound and outlook; it’s another pop album of great drama and distress, with the arrangements to match. (And, like PJ Harvey’s Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, I find this album a lot more compelling than anything else I’ve heard by The Delgados.)

And that pretty much brings us to the recent past. The next post in this series will be the final one; I’ll cover both 2005 and 2006. My favorite albums for both these years haven’t changed, but I’d like to talk about them all the same.
There are a lot of ballyhooed bands in indie-rock -- apparently, one of them released an album today -- but if I had my druthers, Beauty Pill would fast leap to the front of the pack.

Exhibit A: This blog post by the band's frontman, Chad Clark. I found it so intriguing, I said so in the comments section.

Exhibit B: This podcast, a broadcast from this radio show. Chad and bassist Basla Andsolsun spin some favorite tunes and talk about them. The talk can go kinda long, but the insights are crucial, a key that further explains what I love about this band. Also, you can hear on this podcast the Beauty Pill song with which Exhibit A is concerned.
The Wire, Season 5 Preview...

...is here. McNulty regains center stage this season. Better yet, Clark Johnson joins the cast.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Jarvis curates Meltdown festival. This story mentions previous curator Louis Andriessen. I immediately got a mental picture of this guy.